Bandleader Gene Mendalski Passes On
Eugene J. Mendalski,(Gene), 82, passed away on Sunday, April 19, 2015. He was a native of Bayonne and lived in Scotch Plains before moving to Manchester, NJ.
Gene attended Mt. Carmel School, Bayonne High School and went on to serve in the United States Army, and was most proud of his tenure as a member of the US Army band. Gene had an extensive career as a clarinet and sax player in the field of polka music for over seven decades. He was a founding member of the Frank Gutowski Orchestra and later Gene Mendalski and the G-Men. His ensembles performed for both live and televised performances, and Gene hosted a Polka radio show on WERA in Plainfield, NJ. He was a Grammy Nominee in 1989. He worked as a tool and die maker for the Singer Company and as a draftsman for Automatic Switch Company. He was a member of the American Legion and enjoyed bowling, golfing, pinochle, poker and was an avid Mets fan.
Gene was predeceased by his parents, Walter and Mary Zientek-Mendalski, his sister, RoseMarrie Servilla, and grandson, Ryan Wetzel. Left to cherish his memory is his wife, Carol, children Diane Slevin, Gregory Mendalski (Ella), stepchildren Jay Gluck (LaurieAnn Elkington) and Jennifer Burnett (Sean), granddaughter Rachel, niece Lisha Smerda (Dan), grandniece Dana Mason (Christopher), and his beloved pup Oscar.
Viewing hours will be held on Thursday, April 23, from 2:00 -4:00pm and 7:00-9:00pm. Funeral services will be held at the funeral home on Friday, April 24, 2015 at 10:00am. Interment with military honors will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington, NJ.
It was Eugene’s wishes that people find happiness and peace through his music. His musical contributions will play on and keep his memory alive for generations to come.
Charitable donations may be made in Eugene’s memory to the following organizations:
Bayonne High School Band Foundation
Tel: Dana Mason 201-993-1480